Ask Willie D

I Want Custody of My Ex's Kids. Help!


Dear Willie D:

I recently dissolved a four year relationship with a man whom I thought would be with me till death do us part. We never had kids together but he brought two boys, who are now six and nine, with him from a previous relationship. I’m not going to get into specifics. I’ll just say because he has a tendency to be negligent towards the boys, they relied on me to do everything for them.

I became dependently attached to them, and loved them like my own. My attachment to them was one of the reasons I stayed in the relationship too long. The boys still call me mom, and they have indicated that they want to come live with me. Their father is not the best, but considering they are not my biological kids do you think it’s fair for me to request custody of them?

Dependently Attached:

Sticky, sticky. Neglect is the most common form of child abuse, but it varies based on age and the level of development. If I were in your shoes, the number one thing I would consider is degree of negligence. Are the kids being neglected because their father feeds them TV dinners all week, or are they being neglected because he leaves them home along while he’s out partying?

If it’s the latter, I would say it’s definitely fair for you to seek custody and put the kids in a safe environment; if not, I’d say leave it alone. Unfortunately, we don’t get to choose our parents. For better or worse, he’s the boys’ father. Once more, getting a judge to take kids away from their non-abusive biological father and giving them to anybody will be a tall order.

Talk to their dad and offer to give him a break from the kids by keeping them on weekends and other days that work for you. Depending on your schedule, you could even offer to pick them up from school. Be sure that when you offer your services you make it seem as though you’re doing him a favor. If he thinks it’ll make you happy, he might refuse your help out of spite, not realizing it’s his kids who will suffer most.


Dear Willie D:

I’m a 54-year-old man who hasn’t missed one day on my job in 30 years. First of all, let me say I’m happy to have a job because the company I work for has been laying people off left and right. Earlier in the year, they told us that each person in my department would receive a $5,000 bonus for the holidays.

Now they’re saying we won’t receive the bonuses they promised. The company took a few loses, but it’s still a multimillion-dollar business that could afford to pay out the bonuses. The problem is we have a new GM, and he is an asshole. I was really counting on that money for the holidays.

Would I be within my rights to place a demand on the money that was promised?

Holiday Bonus:

You need to consult a lawyer. But I’m thinking if your promised bonus was written in an email or company letterhead, that may be enough to hold up as a legal document. If that’s the case, you have every right to demand payment. If not, you can make all the demands you want, but you have a better chance seeing the Pope shooting dice in a café in Fifth Ward than you have seeing that bonus.


Dear Willie D:

My boss has a friend who is the director of an international ministries charity he sponsors. They are holding a big event next month, and my boss wants all the employees to volunteer. He didn’t give us a choice. He just forwarded a volunteer application to everybody.

Can he legally require me to volunteer for an organization that I do not support?

Volunteer App:

I asked national best-selling author Jerome D. Love, founder of one of America’s largest business expos, to help me out with this question, and here’s what he had to say: I’ve never heard of an employer being able to legally require an employee to volunteer if it’s not in their job description. However, if you value the job and you see yourself there for an extended period of time, maybe that’s a sacrifice you have to make.

One of my laws of business is called, “The Law of the Selective Butt.” We all kiss a little butt. If you don’t value the butt, who cares. But if you value the butt, you may want to pucker up.


Dear Willie D:

What do you call a basement full of liberals? A whine cellar. That joke is funny but it’s true. Liberals don’t know their ass from a hole in the ground. How can they be for abortions, but against the death penalty? That makes no sense to me, but no one in the media has the guts to say anything about it. Why is that?

Liberal Concerns:

The media berates liberals all the time, maybe not as much as they do conservatives, but Fox News more than makes up for any deficit. Conservatives are pro-life, and pro-death penalty. Does that make sense? One could argue that if you take a life, you forfeit your own life.

But that same “one” could also argue that a woman who terminates her pregnancy should not be killed, or a soldier who kills at war should not return home to be executed. Either way you slice it, if you’re not totally against or for abortions and the death penalty, it’s all hypocritical and relative to your agenda.

Ask Willie D anything at, and come back next Thursday for more of his best answers.
KEEP THE HOUSTON PRESS FREE... Since we started the Houston Press, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of Houston, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Willie D is a member of the legendary hip hop band, the Geto Boys, the host and executive producer of the Willie D Live podcast, and an advice columnist for the Houston Press since 2013.
Contact: Willie D